Dr. Drew recommended antidepressant after receiving $275,000 from its maker

During a radio program in 1999, Dr. Drew Pinsky spoke on-air about the wonders of GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s antidepressant Wellbutrin, recommending it to viewers. What he didn’t disclosed to audiences was that two months before the program aired, Dr. Pinsky was paid the second of two payments from Glaxo totaling $275,000 for “services for Wellbutrin,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Pinsky hosted the long-running radio call-in show Loveline. More recently, he was the host of Vh1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and he currently hosts the HLN program Dr. Drew. Pinsky’s deal is being disclosed now after the U.S. Justice Department announced a $3 billion criminal and civil settlement with Glaxo over illegal drug marketing and other matters.

EW received the following email statement from Pinsky’s rep:

“In the late 90s I was hired to participate in a 2 year initiative discussing intimacy and depression which was funded by an educational grant by Glaxo Wellcome. Services for the non branded campaign included town hall meetings, writings and multi media activities in conjunction with the patient advocacy group the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA).  My comments were consistent with my clinical experience.”

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